Go-Ahead Group has announced a collaboration with tech giant Google to streamline how passengers handle mobile payments for bus journeys.
Integrated with Google Wallet, Brighton and Hove Buses, in collaboration with Littlepay, will now offer customers a view of ride history and the financial benefits accrued through time-based fare caps.
It comes after a shift observed in passenger payment preferences, as up to 80% of Go-Ahead customers now opt for digital payment methods over cash transactions. The increasing adoption of tap-on, tap-off systems, alongside the use of smart cards, contactless options, and mobile apps, underlines the change in consumer behaviour.
Developed jointly by Google and Littlepay, the scheme includes real-time savings information, comprehensive ride histories available in Google Wallet, and an enhanced level of security in payment transactions.
Initial deployment will commence at Brighton and Hove Buses, which will serve as a testing ground to refine functionality. If successful, Go-Ahead plans to roll out the feature more widely.
Kanwar Brar, Go-Ahead’s Chief Digital and Information Officer, says: “This initiative reflects our commitment to leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience and make public transportation more accessible and user-friendly. We believe this collaboration will set a new standard for the industry, reinforcing our dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction.”
Nick Hill, Commercial Director at Brighton and Hove Buses, highlights the customer-centric approach: “Most of our passengers are already using digital or contactless payment methods, so it makes sense for us to trial new ways in which we can further enhance the customers’ journey. With 60 million passengers on our buses a year, the customer experience is a top priority.”
Jonathan Hill, Head of Transit Partnerships at Google Pay, also shares his insights on the user benefits: “Paying for transit using Google Pay is quick, easy and secure. By teaming up with Littlepay and Brighton and Hove Buses we are enabling Google Wallet users to track their spending and progress towards daily, or weekly travel caps. We want to help people feel more in control of their spending and encourage use of sustainable transport.”
Paul Griffin, Head of Commercial at Littlepay, adds: “Being able to communicate in real time with passengers as part of the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) experience is a huge leap forward. This project will benefit riders, giving them visibility of savings made through PAYG. It also gives operators a pathway to develop relationships with PAYG passengers and create a real sense of membership and valued loyalty. Littlepay is delighted to be first to market with Google on this important initiative.”